Just Rambling

It ain’t over ’til it’s over… that should be the motto of my life when it comes to all of the workers comp garbage. πŸ™„πŸ˜ I think there’s an R&B song from the early 90s with something close to that title. πŸ€” Meh… anyway… it’s been a day full of working on that stuff, reading mail, working on new forms as much as I can – without any of my attorneys being across the table to help me. 😬 But much like everything else that I’ve had to fight for, there’s still some fighting left to be done before the medical portion is gonna be settled.

It’s a bit before midnight now, so I’ve lost most of the emotional energy that was powering me through it all, so I don’t even have the oomph to really rant about any of it tonight. 😐 I mean, things should be fine eventually… it’s just the typical “Surprise, this isn’t gonna go how you thought it was gonna go.” stuff that plagues every person in the system and keeps things progressing at a snail’s pace. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸŒ But my attorney says we should remain optimistic, and he’s good at selling me on that idea… 😏 so, that’s what I shall do.

But man, even today I’m feeling the effects of how the whole thing has changed me. It simply sucks the energy out of me when I have to work on stressful stuff and make phone calls regarding it all. πŸ˜’πŸ˜£ I mean, that’s what started my “phone anxiety” back in the beginning of the process. All calls seemed to be doctors, lawyers, social security, etc… and all of them were stressful. 😠 I hate using the word “trigger” but that’s what a ringing phone became to me, and then the same for picking up and trying to make a call. It’s embarrassing.

But just like back then, today I felt that effect… not in a super bad way, and I wasn’t even feeling overly stressed or upset or anything… but that still didn’t stop it from sucking away my energy and sending me into a couple unplanned naps. 😏😴 Heh… they’re hard to describe. They usually start with, “Ugh, this sucks… I need to take 10 minutes to rest my eyes and brain.” and then I wake up a couple hours later. πŸ˜…πŸ€¦πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Granted, my sleep has already been screwed up because of my neck and an awful 24 hour headache, but working on this shit didn’t help. πŸ˜› (And I doubt that I’d be anything like this if I hadn’t gotten hurt and stopped working… but meh, who knows, I could have ended up worse. Que sera, sera. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ )

But it was kind of nice to do this mid-week rather than waiting until the weekend like I usually do with most of the mail. I mean, there’s no getting around their business hours when it comes to needing to actually get in touch with folks at the office. But yeah… a big chunk of “bleh” was at least handled and pushed off to the side until probably the start of next week. 😊 A little bit of uncertainty is still gonna be creeping around in my thoughts until this is truly settled, but there’s nothin’ new about that.

A Different Ramble

Yay. Made it to the weekend. 😐 This past week had been a big ol’ MEH for me personally, even though there wasn’t anything particularly horrible… just not a whole lot that was good, either. Getting to the weekend allows me to mentally switch gears, which is silly – since “weekday” or “weekend” doesn’t really have any functional difference in my position, but it just helps me to push aside the “meh” of last week and prepare to work on some different “meh” with a bit less on my mind. πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Some good stuff from the past week… I had a friend come over and bail me out when my lawn had gotten overgrown and I hadn’t seen or heard from my normal mowing crew in two weeks. 🀨 Got my orders of paper masks and hand sanitizer from Amazon. It had been hard to find in stock for a while, so I went ahead and got the pack of 50 masks and a friggin’ case of a dozen 8oz bottles of gel. But having that much, that allowed me to take some up to a couple different friends in Columbus who are as cautious (paranoid?) as me, so they wouldn’t have to go searching for it in stores. 😳😷 Oh, and I did pick up a load of groceries for Dad, using Kroger’s curbside pickup, but unfortunately wasn’t able to stay and visit. 😟 Should be soon, though.

And I don’t know yet if this will turn out to be a good thing or a bad thing, but since the start of last week – all the way up through yesterday – I’ve gotten pieces of mail of various thickness and sizes from the Center for Medicare Services, my Medicare insurer, the Social Security Administration, and I think there may have been one in there from my WC attorneys as well. πŸ˜³πŸ˜‘ If it’s all just stuff to help finish up the settlement phase of my case, then great… I’ll grit my teefs and get through it. But something just tells me that there’s gonna be at least a couple things in this pile of mail that are waiting to be a pain in my ass.

I’ll hold back on my complaining about the lawn situation too much, since it was mostly a misunderstanding. I ended up having a friend mow my lawn in the evening of the 14th day since my normal guys had been here, because the prior week I had contacted them to let them know that part of the yard was getting overgrown with weeds and new bush growth from where they had missed it before. πŸ˜• Yet five days later I still hadn’t even gotten a reply, never mind anyone actually showing up to mow. He said it was because I was down for “every two weeks” even though I thought it was every ten days or so, but like I said… if he’d have replied I’d have at least known that they would be coming eventually, and when I told him five days prior that the yard was already getting out of control – you’d think they’d wanna take care of that sooner than later. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜’

And I’ve been watching the news, reading the articles, paying attention to the numbers all week… and I’ve decided that I can’t go to my cousin’s graduation party this evening. πŸ˜” There’s been a noticeable increase in COVID-19 cases which comes from people’s Memorial Day activity, and then all these protests… woo… it should be about another week before we start seeing the increases from those. 😬 That’ll be the first big “experiment” that may relax some of my fears. If things don’t really pop off after all of the people rubbing up against each other in all of the protest cities, then maybe I can let up on my concern just a bit. But yeah, I can’t go and mix it up with a bunch of folks who’ve been who-knows-where doing who-knows what… especially if I’m gonna be spending time with Dad soon. I hope nothing bad comes from the gathering, because she’d probably feel awful if any of the family members get sick (or worse) just to go to her grad party. 😟

Okay, I’ve gotta run down to the quicky mart to gas up and grab some pop, chips, bread, etc. It’s really the only “store” I’ve been in for months now, so thankfully they have all the small essentials to keep me going – even if it costs a little more than at a regular store. But they’re good at keeping customer numbers in the store low, the doors all open with the breeze blowing, and plenty of space while standing in line. Only once or twice did I see everyone there (as customers) wearing a mask, and last time I was the only one… but yeah, I’m comfortable enough with that place that I don’t have an instant panic attack as I park and prepare to exit my car. 😳

So the plans for tonight include grabbing gas station goodies, hitting BK a little further down the road for dinner, getting back here to the house to then start the laundry, finish the dishes, and face whatever fresh hell all of this mail is waiting to bestow upon me. 😠 I tried to do that last part a couple times this week but couldn’t make myself do it – but I can’t stall anymore since the stuff is probably time sensitive. πŸ˜’ Fun Fun.

Sunny Sunday

It sure was a beautiful day today. Almost unfair, considering that we’re not really supposed to be out in it… at least not around other folks. 72 degrees, sunny, big poofy clouds, and lots of gusty wind to blow through the house. I ran out of pop last night, so I knew I was gonna have to go somewhere today, and that somewhere ended up being the gas station / quicky mart up the road.

They had the front double doors and the side door propped open, so the wind was blowing through the store just like it was outside. They also had signs that let people know that they only wanted five people at a time in the store, and asked folks to wait outside until someone left if the store was already “full.”

There was only one other customer inside the store when I went in, and she was over in the Subway part of the store. (I can guarantee you that I’m not buying a sub with fresh, cold, been-sitting-out-in-a-bin-all-day toppings on it.) So I grabbed some pop, some pretzels, some smokes, and then hit the road. The fella behind the counter didn’t seem too stressed, even though we both stood back from the counter except for the few moments when it was unavoidable.

But I was so distracted by the amazing weather that I found myself just sitting out on the porch, messing around with the phone to make a crude 3D scan of the houseΒ (works best w/touch interface), taking the cat out to smell the trees and the grass, and generally not doing anything productive the whole day. It really felt like a weekend day.

Oh, I did watch the iRacing NASCAR 125 race from “virtual” Texas in the afternoon, and it was pretty darn good like last weekend’s was. The race even had a sponsor, although I can’t remember who it was, and it looked like drivers and teams had some sponsorship deals going on as well. Looks like it might be sticking around for a while.

So yeah, it was nice to “waste” a day when it was as nice as it was, and when there was good stuff on the TV to distract. Getting ready to watch “Bad Boys for Life” here in a few, and then I’ll gather up all my mail and bills and shit so it’ll be ready for me sometime tomorrow after the grumpy from waking up wears off. I hope y’all were able to have a decent day as well.

Turning Point

Last night was kind of a “trifecta” of things that were needed to finally get the majority of Americans to pay attention to what’s going on, and possibly take appropriate precautions. The speech that Donald Trump gave from the Oval Office… oy… I mean, say what you will about that performance, but that was the first thing that perked up people’s ears to the situation.

Then the news that Tom Hanks and his wife are confirmed to have COVID-19… because some people see it as more “real” if someone famous gets it, I guess. And then all of the sports stuff. Games being played in front of empty arenas, a few players being diagnosed with the virus, and then the big shebang when entire seasons started getting cancelled. I really feel like those things combined have effectively opened up a lot of eyes a little more than they were.

And while I already had a decent amount of food in the house… at least enough where I could “get by” for a couple of weeks if I had to really stretch it out – I decided that it was probably a good idea to make one last trip out to the grocery store today, mostly to top off on some non-perishable items. Just in case things get bad… just in case things go for a week, or a couple weeks, or who knows…

Shopping gives me anxiety even on the good days, so I was surprised that today’s trip wasn’t that bad. Nobody was interacting with each other, or even really getting close in proximity. What we were doing was watching everyone else. Heh… all of us, watching everyone else, cautiously looking for any signs of illness that we thought we’d be able to see. Even in the checkout lines, people kept a good amount of space between each other’s carts. Oh, and the toilet paper situation? The aisle was probably 85% empty… but there was still name brand stuff available, and I was able to grab a six-pack of Angel Soft without anyone tackling me for it or even hurriedly grabbing a pack before or after I did.

Maybe I should have already done this. Maybe it wasn’t a great idea to go into a store for this stuff… I dunno… these are unprecedented times for my generation. Hard to say how careful or concerned we should really be, but I know I’m gonna do my best to avoid the virus – and to especially make sure that I don’t hand it off to anyone else if I happen to get it.

Pretty Good Evening

Forced myself out of the house for the second half of the day. Had a bit of normal running (grocery/bank/etc) to do, but for a change I also hit some thrift stores while I was out. πŸ™‚ Helped to calm my nerves as I was out among the humans, as well as keep my thoughts free of any of the “bleh” I’ve been dealing with lately.

Found an OSU shirt for me, along with a couple of big bowls for salads or cereal or whatever, and then saw a white poofy coat with a fur-lined hood and “sparkle” along the seams / pockets – so I grabbed that for Cassi, since I knew she’d have liked it if she was there. 😊 I also found something for Genesee. With her being a Snoopy fan / collector, I went ahead and grabbed this giant Pez dispenser with a Snoopy head. 😳😯 Figured it would make good decoration for a shelf somewhere if nothin’ else. 😁

Stopped by and saw Dad on the way home, and ended up staying there longer than I thought I would. He had the Roku fired up so I was able to introduce him to Daily Dose of Internet and the benefits of the YouTube app. πŸ€“πŸ‘πŸ» I only recently discovered that channel myself, but we ended up watching an hour-long compilation followed by the better part of an hour-and-a-half one that followed. πŸ˜… It was nice though… and like I said to him, there’s all kinds of awful stuff we could have been watching or talking about, but these little videos just kinda “take you away” from everything in the real world while you’re watching. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ˜Œ

It’s funny… as I was getting up to leave, Dad mentioned something about the WC stuff, and I had actually totally forgotten about it at the time. πŸ™„πŸ˜„ But I did wanna update him on everything that was going on, so I’m glad he reminded me. It’s a lot to take in all at one, but I think I got him up to speed, and he’s on the same page as me when it comes to what seems fair and what doesn’t. 🀨😏 It worked out good though, being able to get all the info across without accidentally having spent the entire visit talking about it.

Predictably Unpredictable

Had one of those fortunate times where my workers comp doctor appointment coincided with my neck acting up. Obviously “fortunate” is a relative term… but I think it’s important that the doctor sometimes see me at the worst of my worst times, since at many of my appointments I’m “okay.”

The spasms started yesterday, after carrying a big bag of cat food in from the garage. It used to be that I could still use my right arm to carry about any amount of “dead weight” … where I don’t really do any lifting but just let whatever-it-is hang there at the end of my arm. I guess I’ve got to be more careful about even that now.

It makes sense that something heavy, carried with my right arm, could still pull across the muscles and tendons of my neck and therefore irritate the damaged area… I’m just not stoked about the potential of losing even more ability than I already have. 😟 I’m also not stoked that sometimes just the act of sitting down a little too hard triggers a nerve spike that radiates out over both of my shoulders. 😣 I know I’ve got a big head, but just that little bit of “extra” downward force on my neck… it’s scary that that’s enough to sometimes cause an unpleasant jolt.

But my visit with the doctor was productive. It’s great that after more than a decade (with a basically stable, yet slowly deteriorating condition) he’s still more than happy to give me as much time as I need at an appointment, and this was one that took a little longer as we discussed everything. And while I’m not a fan of the process, we both agreed that it’s probably time for another MRI to see what’s going on in there. 😳 Now, whether workers comp will approve it, that’s another matter.

This was one of those “C’mon, there has to be a way to make it where I don’t hurt like this.” visits, which are probably as frustrating for him as they are for me. 😐 It’s just that there’s only a limited amount of reasonable things we can try, and I’ve already done treatments like cervical spine injections – which only provided limited relief, both in the amount the pain was reduced and for how long. πŸ˜’ And with the risks involved in that method, I’m not sure that it’s worth it when adjusting my meds could prove to work better.

Meh… I’m so tired of medical stuff. 😞 But I’ll wait to see if the MRI is approved, I’m also waiting for a call back about some other things, and then we’ll just go from there. Like I told him today, I’m still too young to just accept that this is how I have to feel, and I haven’t battled with workers comp for this long just to feel “bad, but not really bad” most of the time. πŸ˜’ If there are still things that could help me, they need to remain open as options – otherwise what’s the point? Thankfully, he still seems to agree.

Unremarkable Weekend

(I know… if it was unremarkable, then why am I “remarking” in four big paragraphs? Just go with it… 😏 )

I’ve got mixed feelings about the weekend. Part of me feels like I should have worked on some crap around the house, but then not having done much of that – most of my aches and pains have lessened a bunch compared to last week. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ™‚ So I suppose that means I did things right. Definitely caught up on my sleep, made a big-ish trip to the grocery store (even though I forgot a couple of key things and will need to go back tomorrow), plus I took the car through the wash so she could get a bath. πŸ˜ŽπŸš—πŸšΏ

The weather today was surprising, having not read the forecast. 😯 Sunny, in the 60s, with some pretty gusty wind. πŸ˜ƒ Every now and then I’d hear my big pine tree out front singing from the air passing through it, along with some random creaks and groans from my roof when the gusts got really crazy. 😳🏠πŸŒͺ️ It sorta tempted me to go out and find something fun to do in the nice weather, but I came up empty for ideas. None of my cameras are charged… hell, I’d have to actually remember where I even put them… so taking some random pics was a no-go. Then with my knees just now feeling mostly better, even going for a small hike around Rising or Alley Parks just wouldn’t have been the best idea. πŸ•οΈπŸ₯ΎπŸ˜Ÿ Β Enjoying it from my living room with the window open was perfectly acceptable. 😌

So yeah, it was an almost totally “relaxed” weekend. It’s hard for me to not push myself to “do something” – but, at least for this weekend, I’m glad that I didn’t. πŸ™‚ It’s allowed me to be optimistic that the week’s gonna start off okay, at least when it comes to all my damaged parts. 😏🀞🏻 Only other thing that’s even close to “worth mentioning” is that I cancelled my YouTube TV. It was around $60 each month, and of the stuff that I watch on my TV, it honestly accounted for probably only 5% of my watch time. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ“Ί

It’s probably gonna make me a little twitchy once NASCAR is back on, but I’ll have to look around and see what other options there are. Whether it’s finding another way to watch the race, listen to the audio, or even use an app to see the race with little real-time computer generated cars… I’ll figure something out. 😎

 

EDIT: Gawd… not only did I not realize today was the Super Bowl, but I also forgot that it was Groundhog’s Day. And having family that came from that area in PA, that’s almost like a sin – not giving Punxsatawney Phil the weather-forecasting-attention that he deserves. Spoiler warning: apparently we’ll be having an early spring this year.

Mini-Vacation Visitor

Disregarding how the entry below this one probably sounds, things haven’t been that bad around here lately. The way that all of my “shit” usually finds a way to land on my schedule all around the same time, this time it’s the opposite – and I’ve found myself with a chunk of time where I’ve got no doctor appointments, no WC stuff to work on, no immediate need for attorney communications, none of my few friends needing anything from me, etc. πŸ™‚ I’m glad it worked out that way, because Genesee is gonna be in town for a few days starting tomorrow and it’ll be nice to not have to work around any other obligations while she’s here.

The weather isn’t looking ideal for it, but she’s visiting so she can attend the Freedom’s Never Free ceremony tomorrow at the fairgrounds. πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ In past years I’ve gone with Toni and her family since they had a flag to place in remembrance of Uncle Rick’s service as well as one for Grandpa Shepherd. But this year, Genesee ordered a flag for her dad, and helped me get one to place for / with my dad as well. 😊 It’s a very inclusive thing… for any branch of the military, it doesn’t matter if the person is alive or has passed, and I think they even said that flags can be ordered and placed for “first responders” like firefighters, police, EMTs, etc.

Hopefully the weather will be tolerable enough that Dad will want to go, but the alternate plan is that me and Gen will still go, take some video, place the flags, and then go visit with him afterwards. And once the flags are purchased, they stay with the organization and are used again in each of the following years’ ceremonies. It’s amazing how many flags are added each year, and I think that even for the folks who don’t care to think about / talk about their service time, it still must be a nice feeling to get some recognition for what they did – even if multiple decades have passed since then.

(Especially for Vietnam vets, considering the reaction from the public that many of them got upon returning home… something that I didn’t truly understand the awful extent of until a handful of years ago.)

But she’ll be in Ohio until Sunday, and we’ve got a couple of small plans for things that we want to do, and then she’s got plans with other Ohio friends as well, but all of it will have to be played by ear due to the weather and the relatively short amount of time she’ll be around compared to her other visits. 😯⏰ But it’s nice that this visit is for something good, and not because of someone passing away, or because I’m recovering from a surgery and need babysitting or whatever. 😏

And I’m a little jealous that she’s getting to fly here and back home. I’ve been watching so many different airline / pilot themed YouTube channels lately… (Mentour Pilot, Captain Joe, VasAviation ATC, 74 Gear, CargoSpotter, etc.) giving myself the itch to take a cheap day-flight down to Florida and back or something, basically just a joyride… but between those videos and having not been on a plane since Jim and I went to Kansas years ago… hopefully she gets a window seat so she can use ReLive to record the path of her flight. πŸ€“Β (Not sure how it’ll handle the speed / altitude as it tries to plot the path on its animated map.)

So today I’m just taking it easy. Not gonna even do any light work around here, ‘cuz a lot of times it doesn’t take much for me to unintentionally screw up my neck, shoulder, or knee to various degrees. πŸ˜• It’s only a few days, so I wanna do what I can to make sure I’m good and can keep up with whatever we end up doing. In fact, she’s actually gonna help me dump the small bags of gravel out by the mailbox, as well as help me take the old mailbox off the post and get the new one installed. πŸ™‚ I could probably manage both of those things by myself eventually, but since she offered… I guess I’ll take the help. πŸ˜•πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I gotta get better at that. Accepting help. Because I’m at the point now, more than ever, where I actually do need help with a lot of things… and more often than I’m currently willing to admit to others and even myself. 😟 Stupid pride. 😏